Shinde in Maldives for SAARC meet

New Delhi, Sep 24: India’s Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Monday left for Maldives on a three-day visit to attend a meet of his SAARC counterparts, but won’t get to meet Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik and ask him about the 26/11 case trial in Rawalpindi.

Malik is not attending the meeting as he was forced to cancel his trip due to strictures passed by Pakistan’s Supreme Court ordering contempt proceedings against him and disqualifying him as a senate member.

However, sources said here that Indian officials will meet their Pakistani counterparts on the sidelines of the SAARC meet when the latter may reiterate their demand for voice samples of key Mumbai attack suspects including that of Abu Jundal, who was caught by Saudi Arabian authorities and deported to India a couple of months ago.

Shinde is leading a high-level official delegation, including Home Secretary R.K. Singh, for the fifth South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) home ministers meet to be held on Wednesday.

The SAARC home ministers meet will be preceded by a meeting of their immigration authorities on Monday and home secretaries on Tuesday.

“The SAARC meeting is likely to discuss matters related to terrorism, maritime security and piracy, combating trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and mutual assistance in criminal matters,” a home ministry official said here.

“Cyber crimes and trafficking in women and children in South Asia are other issues on the agenda,” he said.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Shinde is also likely to hold bilateral discussions with the home ministers of other SAARC countries, he added.

IANS